Monday, March 9, 2009

What's Cooking 3.9-3.15

Today I spent $8.21 at Earth Fare, our whole foods market, because I needed to get thyme (they have a nice selection of bulk herbs and they cost far less and use less packaging than buying the bottles of spices somewhere else) and they had a sale on organic apples (.87/lb) and bananas (.59/lb) and vegetable broth. (I really should make my own broth, but considering I make almost all of our food from scratch, I give myself a break with broth. But I am currently making a note to save veggie scraps over the next week to attempt homemade.)

I spent $13.28 at Sav-Mor, a local discount grocery store. They have carts at the front with seriously marked-down items. I usually don't stop to look because they are often filled with stuff we don't eat, but today I was happily surprised to see that they were selling boxes of (12) organic ice cream cones for .49! These same boxes cost almost $5 at Earth Fare and my son loves to offer ice cream cones to his friends when they visit (and rarely asks for one for himself alone) and just yesterday a friend was over and there was only one cone left and he said, "Olive can have the cone, Mommy. I'll have ice cream in a bowl." So I would pay full price to support that kind of generosity, but as luck would have it, I think it is being rewarded another way. There are some grocery items that Aldi doesn't carry, like whole wheat pasta, eggplants and ricotta cheese, so I picked those up, too.

Then for the bulk of my shopping I spent $35.52 at Aldi. My grand total was $57.01. Still more than $20 under what I thought would be the impossible goal of $80. I really considered buying some items - like chicken tenderloins that were on sale at Sav-Mor for $1.87/lb - but I just couldn't. We still have some chicken (not much, but enough for one meal) in our freezer and since I can see that I can consistently spend under $80 a week for food (even when I stocked up on staples like flour and sugar this week), I don't think I have to watch sales on meat, especially since we rarely eat it.

At this rate I feel that I can buy more of our vegetables from local and organic sources and not break the budget - especially since our farmer's markets should be opening soon. And, of course, my weekly CSA share will start in May. Hooray for Spring!

Slow Cooker Spinach Lasagna
Green Salad

I'm back in the hospital for my 24-hour shift and there will be plenty of leftovers from the lasagna to cover us for today.

Black Bean Tacos with Roasted Peppers and Onions
Crudites (raw broccoli, cherry tomatoes and carrots)
with Homemade Ranch Dressing Dipping Sauce

Tangy Twice-Baked Potatoes
Spinach Salad (with slices of hard-boiled eggs to boost the protein content of the meal)

Pizza with homemade sauce and crust
Roasted Peppers and Pepperoni
Spinach Salad

Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Homemade Croutons

Ratatouille (classic French stew with eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers)
Creamy Polenta


Green Bean said...

Awesome list! I need to try the potatoes and the lasagna (love the slow cooker!).

FOO said...

Thanks! I bought a 10 pound bag of potatoes last week, so you'll see a lot more of them on the menus in the weeks to come. The quiche with the shredded potato crust on Sunday was awesome, too. Just shred a potato or two, place in your pie dish, brush with melted butter and bake in a 375 oven until browned and then add whatever you like in your quiche.

Kristen said...

What a good job you are doing on your grocery spending! wow.

Beka said...

You are an inspiration. I haven't given up on the idea of some kind of bulk food club. I'll keep you posted.

FOO said...

Thanks so much for the positive response Kristen (my original inspiration!) and Beka (I'm SO looking forward to the bulk food club Oh, Green Bean might be a good connection for that - I'll try to contact her right now about that!)